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Joe Kolecki

Joseph C. Kolecki began his career at the NASA Lewis Research Center in 1969 as a co-op student working in photovoltaic and thin film research. After graduation, Mr. Kolecki continued in power technology where he was responsible developing power conversion techniques. He later returned to the thin film laboratory to work with "diamond-like" film technology. There, he developed and ran a high energy diffraction facility, and produced several models for using optical techniques (ellipsometry and spectrophotometry) to determine film dielectric properties.

In the early 1980's, Mr. Kolecki joined the Space Environment Effects Branch at NASA Lewis, where he continues to work today. The branch charter is to identify, model, establish guidelines, and help mitigate spacecraft charging effects in orbital environments. During his tenure there, he worked with the international Tethered Satellite System progam (TSS-1), and served on a project group to develop plans for future tether missions and advanced concepts. He spent a year at NASA Headquarters managing programs in tether applications, geostationary platforms, and orbital debris. While there, he was involved in developing a NASA policy statement on controlling the accumulation of orbital debris in future space missions.

In the late 1980's, Mr. Kolecki became involved in the Space Exploration Initiative with a focus on environmental interactions on the moon and Mars. He suggested expanding his branch's charter to include planetary surface environments, and was successful in initiating early studies in the subject. As part of this activity, he conducted a workshop on chemical and electrical interactions on the moon and Mars, and published a two volume workshop report. Mr. Kolecki has co-authored several other papers in the area of lunar and Mars environmental interactions, and Mars Pathfinder rover charging. Mr. Kolecki is presently co-principal investigator on the Mars Pathfinder Wheel Abrasion Experiment, and is responsible for identifying the possibility of, and helping to mitigate, rover electrostatic charging during moving operations on the Martian surface. He is interested developing future mission strategies for characterizing Martian atmospheric electrical breakdown properties, vehicle (and astronaut) charging resultant from motion across the Martian surface, and the possibility of detecting Martian lightning resultant from electric fields in a windy, dusty atmosphere.

In addition to his work as a physicist at NASA, Mr. Kolecki is an organist, pianist, and composer. As an organist, he has experience in classical and theater pipe organ. He has held positions as liturgical organist, composer, and arranger, and done concerts in both classical and theater style. He was, for 17 years, organist at St. Thomas More, where he worked with the late Louis M. DiRienzo and the STM choir. During this time, he wrote numerous works for choir and organ, and performed with the choir in their three record albums. He was also commissioned to compose new masses for special anniversary celebrations at Parmadale, and St. Anthony's Home for Boys. The masses were scored for organ and choir, with optional brass and timpani. They were premiered by the STM choir under the direction of Mr. DiRienzo, and then used regularly at STM. In the mid 1980's, Mr. Kolecki participated in the design and layout of STM's three manual French style pipe organ. The organ features a wide variety of voices, and is suitable for both liturgy and concert. After leaving STM, Mr. Kolecki remained active as a church organist, and has returned on numerous occasions to play weddings and confirmations.

Mr. Kolecki lives in Brooklyn, Ohio, and is married with three sons.

Joseph C. Kolecki
Space Environment Effects Branch
NASA Lewis Research Center

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